New Delhi: P-8I aircraft, capable of targeting submarines and having the electronic jamming facility, will be inducted in the Indian naval fleet next year. These long-haul aeroplanes will join the Indian Navy under the agreement signed with the United States. The inclusion of these aeroplanes in the Indian Navy becomes significant, given the increasing Chinese activities in the Indian Ocean.
The Boing company is supplying the P-81 Poseidon aircraft to India under an agreement, worth billions of dollars, signed with the United States. The Poseidon aircraft, equipped with advanced radar systems, have been already inducted in the Indian Navy in the year 2016. They are carrying out patrolling and surveillance duties in the marine regions from the Arabian Sea to the Indian Ocean to the Bay of Bengal. As per the agreement signed with the United States, four more Poseidon P-8I aeroplanes will join the Indian naval fleet in the next year. Whereas, six more Poseidon P-8I will join the Indian maritime fleet in the following year.
The military analysts are cautioning that China, agitated following the foiling of its intrusion attempt in the Ladakh region by the Indian soldiers, will increase its movements in the Indian Ocean to pressurise India. It is being said China will try to corner India by sending destroyers, submarines and flotillas of smaller ships to the Indian Ocean. Against this background, induction of additional Poseidon aircraft in the Indian Navy is perfectly relevant. It is also being reported that these aeroplanes are fulfilling the requirement of the Indian Army soldiers deployed in the Ladakh region, along with the Indian Navy.
At the same time, the defence ministry has signed a deal with Bharat Earth Movers Limited for Mine Plough systems, worth ₹5.57 billion, for the security of tanks. The Mine Plough system is used for locating and extracting the mines from the minefields. The Mine Plough systems will be deployed on the T-90 tanks of the Indian Army. T-90 tanks have been deployed on the border following the tension with China. These tanks will be manufactured indigenously, and 50% of the spares will be made in the country. Confidence is being expressed that Mine Plough systems will reduce the losses caused by mines to the Army.